Photon signatures for standoff bomb detection

by Loschke, Kyle W.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this research was to develop a technology to quickly identify hidden explosive materials. The developed method needs to be performed at a standoff distance of approximately two meters or more, must have high sensitivity (low false-negative rate) and good specificity (low false-positive rate), and should be able to detect a minimum amount of approximately one gallon (15 lbs) of explosive material.

In an effort to meet these goals, a template-matching procedure to aid in the rapid detection of hidden improvised explosive devices was investigated. Multiple photon-scattered responses are being used as a part of a multidimensional signature-based radiation scanning (SBRS) approach in an attempt to detect chemical explosives at safe, standoff distances. The SBRS approach utilizes both neutron and photon interrogation to determine if a target contains explosive material, but the focus of this thesis is on photon interrogation.

Beams of photons are used to create back-streamed responses called signatures, which are dependent on the density and the composition of the target. These signatures are compared to templates, which are collections of the same signatures if the interrogated volume contained a significant amount of explosives. The signature analysis produces a single figure-of-merit. A low figure-of-merit indicates an explosive might be present in the target. Experiments have been conducted that show an explosive surrogate (fertilizer) can be distinguished from several inert materials using these photon signatures, proving these signatures to be very useful in this particular method of chemical explosive detection.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Kansas State University

School Location:USA - Kansas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:improvised explosive device photon detection engineering nuclear 0552


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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